One year, seven hundred posts later

It has been about a year since I started blogging again and the results have been mixed. I’ve been interested enough to write about something seven hundred times but those interested in what I’m writing are a rare breed.

I’m not sure who is reading what I’m writing, based on comments Gary is my regular customer who comes into my bar every day and has everything on the menu. Jim shows up once in a while when his other bar is crowded or remembers that drink he liked that he could only get at my bar. Mike started showing up feigning ignorance of the place even though he had to walk right by it every day on his way to the regular bar.  Those are my commentators and while the quantity is low, the quality is top notch.  I feel lucky that I like everyone who bothers to comment.

The readership is low but has climbed to the point my Google stat bar charts can be seen without having to use reading glasses.

I’m still feeling my way around this blog, trying to figure out what I can write about without saying the same thing 100 other Dodger blogs are saying.  My twitter feed is funny, I do have about ten Dodger bloggers on the feed and every time there is any Dodger news, I get about twenty tweets about the exact same thing. I’ve tried to stay away from that realm, the minutia of the Dodgers is covered very extensively.

I write for two reasons. Reason one is that I need to stay creative during my time on the system. I trade options for income now and so I need to be on-line starting at 06:30 in the morning until 01:00 PM. But trading options has lots and lots of down time. Some days can be very busy, but other days I’ll make zero trades if all my money is tied up. To fill in the time gaps I write. and write. and write.  I think it has helped keep my mind sharp. When I was running an Information system department, I had to make multiple decisions about many different environments and was always multi-tasking. Without that stimulus to keep my mind sharp I was afraid it would atrophy. I’m not sure if writing has replaced that stimulus but it has helped mitigate it so along with the option writing I think I’m okay with working the brain.  Reason two is that I simply like to write.

Vocally, words have always been hard for me to work with. Anyone who has ever known me for any length of time has known that when I’m talking I’ll search for a word but it just won’t show up for me. One of my best friends used to be my fill in the blank person, but he moved to Seattle leaving me to grasp with the language as best I could.  I have a different problem when it comes to writing.   Any of my first drafts would basically be unreadable but my brain did get the content right as it flowed out too fast for my writing skills to translate a readable or grammatically correct form.  Luckily Grammarly has helped me greatly to find both the flow mistakes and the simple grammatical mistakes.  I’m not sure why my brain works like this. I know writing and verbal exchange comes easily to many of you. As a child, I had hearing issues and extensive earaches until they removed the adenoids that were blocking my hearing ability.  Many people I’ve talked with can remember parts of their life much earlier than I can. My first real memories don’t occur for me until 1st grade right after they cleared my adenoids.  I thought that was normal until people would tell me things they remembered when they were two or three. That seemed crazy to me.  I only have two real memories before kindergarten. Our cat running away during a trip across the country, and our dog being run over in front of my mother. Everything else is vague. Ok, that is the verbal part. I really do think my hearing issues as a child impacted my verbal skills.

But……sheer laziness is the writing issue. I get that conundrum. How could anyone write who doesn’t want to spend time learning how to write grammatically correct prose? A lazy fuck, that is who. I’ve spent most of my life not working hard at anything I wasn’t interested in. I’m interested in writing, grammar, not so much.

Sorry

Baseball Reference and Fangraphs have been used extensively when I write about the Dodgers or baseball. The Baseball Reference sharing tool is probably used in 80% of everything I write.  I could copy and paste to excel. manipulate, and pop back into the post but they have made is so easy to read with <pre> format that it saves me oodles of time and looks great.

I turned my back on programming ten years ago and while I know some HTML I could stand to learn more. Over the next year, I’d like to make the blog better visually. If I was to have created this blog from scratch using my own server instead of WordPress I envisioned a home page with a border of baseball cards that would randomly change every time the home page was opened by a unique user. Each card would have links to any articles on the blog that mentioned them. The wallpaper would be a gorgeous view of Dodger Stadium much like the original artwork for TrueBLueLA.  I had hoped to work with Andrew Grant to purchase his minor league central system since he had stopped keeping it up, but he never returned any attempt to communicate with him.

Maybe I’ll get to that.

For now I’ll keep putting out

  • This day in baseball with mostly Dodger content and some commentary if I remember anything about the event or player. I just started doing this about a month ago and I really enjoy it.
  • Dodger leaderboards related to game scores, strikeouts, and total bases based on the team they are playing and where.  These are easy to do, and I love seeing the history of the Dodgers on these leaderboards. Maybe no one cares that Hideo Nomo has the highest game score against the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium. I’m not even sure I care, I just like to write about it and for some reason I enjoy it when an Alex Wood cracks those leaderboards right after I post them.
  • The Dodger farm system. I’m no scout and never pretend to be but I do read lots of scouting information. The Weekly Farm Factory just gives me a reason to stay current on what is happening throughout the farm system.  If anything has grown in the Dodger blogosphere since I started blogging in 2007 it is the growth in the coverage of farm systems.  I don’t have anything to add here, but since I like the prospects I’m going to write about them.
  • Great games during the year. There is no need to do a recap of every game, that is done by everyone, but I do want to write about games that in my mind, were games that stood out.
  • The weird stuff that no one cares about but me. Like Howie Kendrick going 100 plate appearances and only driving in one run as a starting LF during a stretch in 2016. AJ Ellis unable to score in 2016 in over 100 plate appearances.
  • Personal touches I can add that are really diary stories for myself to look back on and go oh yeah, I remember that. Or realize I don’t remember and start to prepare my life without my brain.

So in recap, if you do read the blog, thanks and if you do want to say anything please do so.

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8 Comments

  1. Michael Tortoro

    Hey Phil, I really enjoy this blog, and I regret not commenting until recently (I’m not much of an internet commenter). I have been reading you since you wrote for the early incarnations of TBLA. I really like what you’re doing with this blog. I like looking at the current season in the context of Dodger history. Your blog helps me remember all of the players I’ve watched as a fan of the team, and learn about some of the players that were before my time. Keep it up–I’ll be reading it as long as you’re writing it.

    Like

  2. 68elcamino427

    The concept for the layout of your page is a great one.
    It will look great in action.

    I really enjoy seeing what you have decided to talk about each day.

    Dodgersyat.com is my first stop each morning regarding things Dodgers.

    There is not a right or wrong in any of this for me. I just enjoy seeing what your fertile mind has come up with next.

    Your writing keeps getting better and the expression more smooth with each successive attempt.

    Keep that options desk up and running!
    The residual fallout is pretty neat.

    Like

    • Thanks, Gary. I’ve got 38 drafts that never made the cut.

      Like

  3. I’m reading, Phil. As you know, I had to get used to living with fewer and fewer comments compared with my heyday – at Dodger Insider, they nearly disappeared entirely. But I’m enjoying what you do and you do have an original voice, which is all that really matters.

    Like

  4. Frank

    I’m reading too. Appreciate you have your own original thoughts, analysis and most importantly historical perspective. Way better than reading the daily 10 more or less the same recaps. It’s hard for me to comment easily though since I use RSS feed and most of time reading on my mobile devices. So if you would like to see more comments maybe try to synchronize it on social media as well.

    Like

  5. Hi Frank – appreciate the feedback. I usually tweet two or three times for each entry I’ve written.
    @meercatjohn is my twitter handle.
    Any other suggestions?

    Like

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